Let’s just get this out of the way: Gift cards are great gifts. That’s it — that’s the whole article. Just kidding, of course, but it’s true. Gift cards have long suffered an inaccurate characterization that they’re last-minute, thoughtless celebratory offerings. This isn’t true when they’re gifted for birthdays or for holidays, and, it’s definitely not true for weddings. The point: Add gift cards to your wedding registry. Here’s why.

Why should I add gift cards to my wedding registry?

There’s a gift card for virtually everything—streaming TV, makeup, home improvements, pet care, vacations, flights. Post-wedding day, gift cards offer you the freedom to choose your own adventure in your newlywed life.

A Petco gift card may cover essentials for that new puppy you’ve been wishing for. A Delta gift card may incentivize you to plan a weekend away together when the honeymoon’s long over. For more pointers about how to set up your registry, check out our wedding registry checklist article.

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Don’t cash funds accomplish the same thing, though?

Technically, yes, but a wedding registry filled with varying cash funds (or one large one) isn’t going to sit well with some of the more traditional members of your family. Some of your wedding guests will prefer to give physical gifts over cash. If you’ve already added some traditional registry items, gift cards should be your next move.

Because it’s from a certain brand or company, a gift card lets family and friends know that they’re contributing to something tangible. For example, a Lowe’s gift card says we’re doing upgrades to our newlywed home — and your guests (even the most traditional ones) will be happy to support that. A gift card is a middle ground between physical gifts and cash funds.

OK, what gift cards should I register for?

Like cash funds, your wedding registry gift cards should reflect your needs (and wants) as newlyweds. Fortunately, Zola has plenty of gift card options that offer a mix of brands and experiences. Think about the first six months or first year of your married life. Where do you definitely see money going and where would you like an added cushion? There’s probably a gift card for that.

To help you, though, here are some ideas.

  • Honeymoon Expenses: When the expense of a wedding can take away from the luxurious honeymoon spending, try asking guests for gift cards to various airlines, hotel chains, or even Airbnb. Gift cards are a great way to boost your honeymoon fund so that you can take the trip of your dreams without damage to your bank account after the big day. For more info on budgeting for your honeymoon, read about how to set up a honeymoon registry.
  • Date Nights: Set your date nights up for success early on with gift cards for various special occasions. Get money towards movie dates, games or other big events, or other experiences.
  • Your New Home: Whether you already have a home or are planning to move, renovations and upgrades are expensive. Cover the costs with a Home Depot, Lowe’s, or Ikea gift card. If the groom isn’t the handy type, check out more wedding registry gifts for guys.
  • Your Pet: You may already have a pet or you may be saving to get one — the costs really add up. Get a good jump on those expenses with a gift card that can cover bedding, food, and other necessities.

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Gift cards are an easy way to get money towards things you really want or need, while also satisfying your guests’ desire to gift you something personal. If you’re still unsure, be specific on your registry—it’s one of your most powerful wedding planning tools. Add a note about why you want the gift card and what you’ll use it for. Asking for travel gift cards? Tell your wedding guests where you’re going. It makes the experience more intimate and makes guests feel like they’re giving the perfect gift.